Next Level Guilt-Tripping
Episode 9 of Now, We Are Breaking Up opens with Young-eun and Hye-ok’s meeting. If Young-eun can prove the sincerity of her love for Jae-guk, Hye-ok says she will support their relationship.
Young-eun visits Sono’s storefront in Hills. While she’s there, customers complain because of their limited range of sizes. The manager complains that this problem makes their inventory slow-moving, and she’s considering taking up an offer from Hills to manage one of the new imported brands.
Young-eun reports these issues to Gwang-soo, who is unwilling to spare the money needed to arrange for new patterns and different factories.
Yoo-jung has a nervous breakdown after passing by Young-eun. She has a flashback to the night of Soo-wan’s death when she pleaded with him to continue their marriage. He drove off after his phone rang with an incoming call from Young-eun. Yoo-jung now blames Young-eun for his death.
Young-eun and Jae-guk run into one of Soo-wan’s old friends after a movie. Young-eun’s fighting spirit is left diminished. Jae-guk, still optimistic, asks to meet her mother.
At Vision PR, Chi-sook and Do-hoon enter into a fake-dating contract that will last until the end of their Paris trip. The pair is interrupted by Soo-ho handing in his resignation letter so that he can care for Mi-sook.
Mi-sook returns to her apartment in the middle of the day to find Soo-ho already there, cooking a meal for her. He apologises to her on his knees while slapping himself for selfishly having thought of himself first, their daughter second, and Mi-sook last when he found out about her illness.
Chi-sook, overcome with grief, confronts Young-eun for keeping the truth about Mi-sook from her. She tells Young-eun to convince Mi-sook to receive treatment while she arranges for the best hospital and doctors.
On the day of Taek-soo’s retirement celebration, he invites Jae-guk to take photos for the occasion. When Jae-guk introduces himself, Jung-ja puts two and two together and realizes he is Hye-ok’s son. Young-eun drops the news that Jae-guk is her boyfriend, much to Jung-ja’s delight.
After the celebration, Young-eun goes to her parents’ house with Jung-ja while Jae-guk goes out to eat with Taek-soo. They separately reveal that Jae-guk is Soo-wan’s brother. Both of her parents then condemn their relationship.
Min-kyung, annoyed that Soo-ho hasn’t answered her texts since his resignation, comes to his apartment. He sneaks into the hallway to try and make her leave, but Mi-sook notices them. Min-kyung pretends like Do-hoon sent her to get a handover from Soo-ho and Mi-sook invites her inside. Mi-sook, her expression despondent, pretends to go to the dry-cleaners while they talk.
At Sono the next day, Young-eun and the team continue to push for updated sizes. Gwang-soo opposes them until Young-eun threatens to go over his head.
Jae-guk enjoys a meal at his mother’s house and explains how he liked the intimacy of photographing people that he felt at the retirement celebration – something he’s lacked as an illegitimate child. Hye-ok asks if he plans to marry Young-eun and he is willing to if she is. Hye-ok then asks him to invite Young-eun over for a meal.
After work, Young-eun and Chi-sook alter clothes that Mi-sook discarded because the weight loss caused by her illness has made them too big for her. Mi-sook is ecstatic when they present them to her. It’s enough for her to decide to accept treatment so that she can live without regrets.
That night, Do-hoon drives Chi-sook home. They sit in his car outside her house, and he tells her that letting someone go in peace can be another form of love. When she asks to lean on his shoulder, he says that she can always lean on him. CEO Hwang arrives home and sees the two of them together.
The next day, CEO Hwang corners Do-hoon and has already guessed that their relationship is a ruse. Fortunately, he approves of Do-hoon, predicting that he won’t break Chi-sook’s heart like her past boyfriends.
Sono’s senior members continue to hit obstacles as they try to move forward with the sizing changes. In the meantime, Chi-hyung and So-yong help at the warehouse. Chi-hyung struggles and is ready to give up when they are asked to help cut loose threads. So-yong tries to stop him from leaving, telling him to do his part.
The next day, Young-eun arrives at Hye-ok’s house before Jae-guk. On her way to use the bathroom after being told to wash her hands, she is faced with Soo-wan’s old room and stands frozen. Hye-ok monologues about how Soo-wan will always be in their hearts. She asks if Young-eun is prepared to live everyday with his ghost.
After Jae-guk arrives, Young-eun excuses herself and leaves early. Jae-guk notices Soo-wan’s room on display and confronts Hye-ok. She says that it was necessary to test Young-eun’s resolve.
Jae-guk runs out and catches up to Young-eun. He takes her to the photo studio he has acquired, which he plans to use for the next two months to take portraits. If he likes the work, he may stay indefinitely.
When Young-eun explains her fears, he says they don’t need his mother’s approval. Young-eun has a flash back to Hye-ok announcing that she won’t stay around to watch Jae-guk be happy with the woman that caused Soo-wan’s death.
Young-eun regrets her relationship with Soo-wan, saying that she loves Jae-guk enough to want to erase her two months with Soo-wan. She’s ashamed of these feelings and Jae-guk embraces her as she cries.
The Episode Review
Another episode, another chance for Yoo-jung to be terrible. Blaming Young-eun for Soo-wan’s car crash is some next level guilt-tripping. Hye-ok’s quieter approach is even more sinister, smiling at Jae-guk while orchestrating the end of his romance. Both are your run-of-the-mill evil in-laws being used to drive conflict without much depth.
While this episode suffered from a greater focus on those two, it also gave us the best Sono storyline yet. The fight for size diversity and the exploration of the various obstacles against it that have been built into the fashion industry were noteworthy highlights. It’s a message that viewers across continents can appreciate and resonates with new movements towards diverse fashion.
In the same spirit, this could have been the perfect drama to tackle issues like slow fashion, sustainability, impacts on body image, underpaid workers, etc. – the list goes on.
So-yong and Chi-hyung’s return was welcome and even Do-hoon and Chi-sook are becoming interesting enough as they oscillate between tender moments and being a dumb-and-dumber pair. As for our leads… no good news to report there.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|